Who Could Be Thinking of Incentives At A Time Like This? You.

Unfortunately, the first half of our previous post does reflect the way some leaders view their managerial roles. It's not always necessarily an attitude thing either. In a rough economic patch with budgets being examined with a fine tooth comb, it's difficult for many to justify spending extra money on employee recognition.

It wasn't unusual for several companies to cut back (or even eliminate) company year end bonuses and the economy had a lot to do with it. However, it's been said that noncash rewards have proven to be a much more cost effective way to drive behavior. You can accomplish more in influencing motivation using merchandise as a reward/recognition tool than cash while spending just as much - if not less - money in the process. Check out our Trophy Value Continuum post to learn more about this concept.

The job market as of now is still pretty flat and the risk of your employees jumping ship anytime in the next week or so is pretty slim. However, the job market will improve.  Employee engagement across the board has hit new lows of late, with over half of the current workforce looking to jump ship as soon as the job market starts its upswing again. Long term, recruiting, re-training and replacing employees who left as a result of a lack of engagement will incur more costs. Spending the time to re-think recognition programs could be a wise decision.

Are incentives a silver bullet for performance results? Absolutely not. However, provided that the recognition program you use aligns with your company goals and those goals are made clear to your employees, they really can drive desired results.

What do you think?